Everything You Need to Know About Pine Flooring

Of all the types of flooring available, wood is still the most popular. And oak floorboards are gorgeous as well as fashionable. But pine wood flooring is another strong contender in the beauty stakes, a soft wood that’s been used to make floorboards for centuries and a feature of many old homes across Britain.


Vintage Pine Floorboards

We’ve taken several long, detailed looks at oak flooring, furniture and doors. Now it’s time to explore the wonderful world of pine. If you have a pine floor that needs attention, or you’ve been tasked with getting one in apple-pie order for someone else, here’s everything you need to know.

Types of pine

Pine, also sometimes called redwood, is cheaper and more common than traditional hardwoods, ranging from almost white through various yellow shade to a deep, rich red. For a softwood it’s often remarkably resilient and long-lasting, especially in the context of well-looked-after pine floors.

Pinus is the species we see most in UK and EU plantations. It’s useful for all sorts of utility work, a common wood for beams, flooring and structural purposes. But that’s just the start of it. There are a whole load of different types of pine tree found in the wild, so many in fact that the Wood Database website’s impressively long list is far too detailed to repeat here.

If you’re interested in the similarities and differences between soft pines and hard pines, and those within each group, you can’t beat the Wood Database pine page, an excellent resource. Here’s a link.

Horses for courses – The pine flooring aesthetic

There’s a variety of flooring ideas and opinions concerning keeping it looking good, some involving being neglect and others plenty of elbow grease. And the choice is often a matter of aesthetics.

One of the best things about wood flooring is that it changes, going through all sorts of fascinating stages over time, depending on its type and location, with an equally wide range of end results. And every stage of the ageing process has its own beauty.

You might love the hundred year (or much older) patina your old pine boards have acquired through generations of wear. It might be stained and dirty, uneven and bent, sometimes more or less black. But to you it’s perfect, a living piece of history marking decades or even centuries of human use. And that’s fine. If it has lasted this long in one piece, it might well last a great deal longer without falling apart on you.

Your floor might be reasonably worn, part way between new and aged. You might adore the effect – the real shabby chic deal – or you may prefer to get rid of the muck and repair any damage, giving it a whole new lease of life as well as a smooth, contemporary look.

A brand new pine floor, on the other hand, can look pretty raw. The paler it is, the newer and less settled-in it looks. You might want to use a wood dye to create a subtler, less in-your-face effect, calming the brightness down a bit, and if it hasn’t already been protected, you’ll want to add a finishing oil or good quality varnish.

How pine changes over time

The colour is one thing. The condition of old pine floors is another. Old boards can cup or arch over time, each board curling up at the edges, which means when you try to sand them you tend to get a thin sanded strip down the middle of each board at the high point, which widens on each pass of the sander as the boards are slowly levelled by the sanding process.

When you sand old pine boards back to the wood they can look very pale, even colourless. But don’t worry. The minute you apply a clear wood finishing product like an oil or varnish, that warm, attractive natural golden colour will come flooding through.

Testing the colour of your floorboards before finishing them

This change in colour is so dramatic that it’s usually best to test how it’ll look finished before choosing an oil or varnish. Luckily it’s easy. All you do is rub the surface with a damp – not wet – cloth and you get the exact same effect as oiling or varnishing – the colour suddenly shines through. Once you know what’s what, you can choose your finish: either something to enhance the natural colour or a colourless product.

What if you want to get rid of that bright orange/gold colour?

Orange or golden pine isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. And that’s the effect you can get from a standard clear oil or varnish – as time passes it can turn a deeper orange/gold, even a nasty brown. If yours has gone a funny colour, you can always sand the old finish off and replace it with a product that won’t change colour as it ages.

If you’re looking to retain the natural appearance of freshly sanded boards, pine or oak, we recommend these wood floor finishes: Osmo Polyx Oil Raw and Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural are both great products for defusing and countering the gold / orange colour you sometimes get.

  • Osmo Polyx Oil Raw (3044) is made with natural oils and waxes, gives excellent protection and durability and is specifically formulated to retain the ‘natural’ look of wood and counter the typical damp-looking darkening and grain enhancement you typically get with standard clear oils or varnish
  • Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural also keeps wood looking as natural and unaltered in colour as possible and dries to a clear, satin-matt finish, and it’s perfect for light coloured woods like pine, spruce and oak
Osmo Polyx Oil

Osmo Polyx Oil

Pine wood floor refinishing – Varnish or oil?

What’s best, an oil or a varnish? The protective qualities are much the same. But oil and varnish come with different types of maintenance, and to a great extent your choice depends on the amount of wear and tear the floor gets.

  • Using a wooden floor varnish tends to provide better durability and less maintenance, but you’ll need to re-sand the entire floor back to bare wood when the varnish eventually gets damaged and worn. How long this takes depends on the type and quality of the varnish and how much wear your floor gets. It could be every year if you have pets, visitors and kids running in and out all the time. It could be five years or more if your home life is a lot quieter or you’ve covered the floor with rugs
  • Using a wooden floor oil on the other hand requires maintenance, usually every couple of years, but it won’t flake, crack or peel off. It looks better than varnish as it wears and is very easy to patch repair if it becomes worn in specific areas, unlike varnish. When an oiled floor starts to look like its past its best, simply clean with a suitable floor cleaner to remove any marks, scuffs or stains then re-apply a thin coat of oil, Hey Presto – Just like new again. Even bad scuffs, stains, marks and light scratches can be fixed by lightly sanding the area and re-applying a fresh coat of oil.

A tough varnish, by the way, won’t make the flooring itself hard. If you drop something heavy on the floor, the wood will still dent even though the varnish stays intact.

We have put together this handy video helping you to understand the key difference between a varnish and oil, as well as application techniques.

Any pine floorboard maintenance questions?

As always we’ll be pleased to help. Should you have any questions or queries about interior floor finishes and treatments, just call us or leave a comment below and we’ll get right back to you.

94 Responses to “Everything You Need to Know About Pine Flooring”

  1. Lucy Fenton Says:

    I wonder if you could help me please:

    if whitewood pine or redwood pine better for internal flooring?
    is redwood very orangey – if so can this be ‘whitewashed’ to produce a lighter coloured wood?
    if wood is ‘whitewashed’ can it be varnished and/or oiled?
    Which one is harder and less likely to be marked?
    Which one has fewer knots?
    If the whitewood or the redwood is treated, can it still be ‘whitewashed’ and
    can it still be oiled or varnisehed?

    Thank you ever so much.

  2. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Lucy,

    Thank you for your inquiry, it is fair to say that the White Pine is slightly stronger/more durable than a Red Pine as it is grown slower due to a colder climate. Having said that both Red Pine and White Pine are suitable for flooring.

    For the finish I would recommend a test area with what ever product that you use, as the colour of the wood will have an effect on the finish, so for example clear on top of the Red pine could enhance the red tones in the wood. You are likely to get a better white washed effect on the White Pine and there are a couple of ways to go about this as shown within the Blog – Options 1-6.

    If the wood is already treated then applying over the top becomes a little more complicated and would depend on the type of finish that it has. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions do not hesitate to contact me.

    Kind regards Sam.

  3. Nick Jenkins Says:

    Here’s a coincidence…I put on a first coat this morning of the clear matt Osmo oil you recommended to me for the old, but dull, bedroom floorboards (elm?) in our French farmhouse. Already the floor is looking fantastic, giving the wood the “wet finger” look we were hoping for. So thanks so much for that.
    While waiting for the oil to dry, I did a Google search for the best way to treat the brand new maritime pine floorboards that have just been laid in our newly-converted loft – and, yet again, found your site to be the most useful and informative.
    So my question is: what is the best way to treat these new boards? I guess there’s not too much we can do about them being new, but how can we keep that “warm” wood feeling without making them shout “new” in a bright yellowish way?!

  4. Nick Jenkins Says:

    Perhaps I should mention that one of the rooms is a bathroom?

  5. Graeme Says:


    We have just sanded and treated the original pine floor boards in our 1900s maisonette. We treated them with matt Bona Mega waterborne finish. They looks great but we wanted to double check what we should use to clean them with.

    Thank you


  6. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Graeme,

    For the best product to use with the Bona I would recommend the Bona Spray Mop it is a versatile cleaner with a flexible head for easy maneuvering. The cleaner that is included is perfect for use on a Bona finished floor and the refill is cost effective if you buy the 4 liter bottle Wood Floor Cleaner this can just top up the cartridge. Also the blue pad can be wash in the washing machine and reused up to 300 hundred times. I hope that helps and if you have any other questions please do not hesitate to ask.

    All the Best Sam.

  7. Oscar Says:

    I have just moved into a new house. The decorator sanded the floorboards and waxed them with beeswax only. After a month the floorboards became very dirty and the wood became orange. First I would like to know how I should clean the boards to get rid of the dirt and wax. Second after cleaning what I should apply. The furniture is already in and vacating the room is not option.
    Thank you.

  8. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Oscar,

    Beeswax is suitable for use on floors but it is not something that we would necessarily recommend for a durable finish. If you wish to remove the Wax we have a very good product call Wax and Polish Remover this will take off any dirt and wax that remains on the floor.

    For a more durable finish that still gives a natural look and feel to the wood you could have a look at the Holzol Floor Oil it is durable hard wearing and easy to apply. It would be better to remove furniture from the room if possible so that you can treat evenly all over in one go but part application is possible, you may get a join line but if you have boards it advised to apply the full length of a board at a time and so if you are able to place furniture on one set of boards and treat the opposite boards then its feasible.

    I hope that is of some help and if you have any other questions please feel free to let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  9. Emily Says:

    Hi Sam,

    We (and a carpenter!) are in the process of fitting a reclaimed Douglas Fur flooring to the whole of our open plan downstairs (Kitchen, dining, living room and hall way).
    Last night we applied a clear matt finish oil to the kitchen area which became very strong orange colour. We weren’t expecting this and are desperate to change it.

    Any recommendations of stains/treatments we could use to de-orange this flooring would be greatly received.

    Best wishes,


  10. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Emily,

    It sounds like the oil has highlighted the natural tones of the wood and this is common when applying a clear finish. Are you able to send me any photos with a description of the look you are trying to achieve and I will be able to advice you further. I suspect that applying a light Stain and then oiling may be an option but I would really like to see some photo of the wood that you are treating. You can email me at wood@finishes.direct

    Kind regards Sam.

  11. gordon Says:

    Hi ,I have a pitch pine floor in my dining room that has a number of scratches. Is there any way of removing /covering these without sanding the boards. I think the boards are varnished.
    thank you
    Sorry left wrong e-mail

  12. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Gordon,

    Repairing varnished surfaces is not an easy process, but we do have a Blog on just that process that may be helpful for you to read >>> http://www.wood-finishes-direct.com/blog/wood-flooring-varnish-repair/ hopefully this will be of some help but please let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Sam.

  13. Bethany Says:


    I have just purchased a victorian home with original pine floors from around 1900. I don’t know what they have been finished with, but in small areas where the finish has worn through the boards look cloudy. I’m hoping not to have to sand and re-finish the floors – is there a product which is suitable for treating just the areas which are worn without looking patchy or discoloured?

    In the kitchen the timber floors have a lot of black staining around the nails which is prevalent across the entire floor, but this doesn’t appear elsewhere in the house. What causes this and is it permanent?

    Many thanks,

  14. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Bethany,

    It is difficult to recommend a product to patch repair with out knowing what is on the surface already. There is a small test that you can do, which is to put a small drop of oil ( olive or vegetable from the kitchen cupboard is fine ) on the floors in an inconspicuous area and leave for an hour. If the oil remains unmoved then you are likely to have a varnish. But if it has moved or absorbed then you may have an oil or wax on there or even bare boards. Once this is established I can move forward with some advice.

    For the Kitchen, the black stain could simply be a build up of dirt and dust or it could be mould from water ingress if the seal is broken. But I would be happy to take a look at some photos if you wish to send some in to wood@finishes.direct

    Kind regards Sam.

  15. Donnie Says:

    Hi Sam,

    We’re refurbishing a property with a beautiful, dirty patina pine floor which we would love to retain. The question is, can you retain the patina and protect the wood with a top coat to ward off future stains/make it easier to clean? Our thinking is that if the timber is coated in dirt, it won’t leave much opportunity for any stain to sink in to the grain so is there an alternative?


  16. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Donnie,

    This may also depends on if there is any current treatment on the floor. And what is the patina a result of, is there some wax applied previously ? Many products need to be absorbed by the wood to work effectively while others need to adhere to the surface. Feel free to email me with some images of the floor and any information on what may currently be on the floor and I will be happy to try to guide you in the direction of the right products.

    It may be as simple as applying some Hard Wax Oil which may darken slightly but will protect and nourish the wood.It does however need to be absorbed by the wood evenly. The emails address is wood@finishes.direct I look forward to hearing from you.

    Kind regards Sam.

  17. Tom Says:


    We are currently in the process of refinishing our wood floor in the kitchen. I am pretty sure it is pine but am no expert on identifying wood. I can send a photo if that will help.
    We are planning to use an oil based stain and have the color picked out. However, we can’t decide on a sealer to use. Could you give some advice? We would like to keep the odor, or VOC, down as much as possible.

    Thank you for the help!

  18. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Tom,

    Thank you for your inquiry, for a low VOC product that will colour and protect in one treatment you could have a look Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Tint as this is easy to apply and maintain over time.

    Also Polyx Oil Tints from Osmo is our most environmentally friendly product. If you have a read up on the products and let me know if you have any further questions. Please always try a test area first.

    Kind regards Sam.

  19. Ritika Says:

    Hi we have recently sanded which were old pine floorboards. We then applied Liberon sealant and wax on top but the floorboards have turned an ugly red orange tone. Sanding them again is not an option. Please can you suggest how to make the floors look natural or a lighter colour . Thanks

  20. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ritika,

    It sounds like applying the oil has brought out the natural tones of the Pine. This is common, particularly on Pines and is the reason that a test area is always recommended. You could consider Supreme Wax Polish from Fiddes,to tone down the orange, but it will have limited impact, a test area is really the only way to tell. If there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  21. Susan Jago Says:

    When laying a pine tongue and groove floor is it necessary to seal the underside prior to laying and how long would you recommend leaving it to acclimatise in an outdoor cabin with no current heating…

  22. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Susan,

    Would I be right to assume that the flooring is going in the cabin ? You can leave the pine for a few weeks to acclimatize, but it is debatable as to whether this will really have any benefit.

    It is a good idea to treat both sides if the wood before installing as this can help to prevent any possible bowing over time. If you need any advice on the right products to use please feel free to let me know. You can email to wood@finishes.direct.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  23. Stacey Smith Says:

    Good afternoon,

    I moved in to a 1930’s house last year and discovered it had parquet flooring under the laminate that had been put down.

    I was informed that it was Columbian Pine so I had it sanded and treated with a sealant but it wasn’t waxed or oiled. Can you recommend the best cleaner to use as the normal every day one and Bona that I have been using leaves a dull film on it. Unfortunately I cannot get a hold of the guy who did the floor. Also, will I need to get it waxed or oiled to give the best look?

  24. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Stacey,

    You could have a look at the Manns Wood Surface Cleaner as an general purpose cleaner as this is suitable for varnished or lacquered floors.

    If it is sealed with a varnish then there is no need to follow up with oil as it is not compatible, wax can be applied if you wish to give some shine to the floor, but it offer no protective benefits and could potentially make the floor slippery.

    I am happy to help should you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  25. Stacey Smith Says:

    Hi Sam,

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I will try the Manns Wood Cleaner that you recommended and see how I get on.

    thanks for your help.


  26. Ben Sadler Says:


    I am in the process of sanding and finishing some Victorian pine floorboards. How would the look in your photo above captioned “Vintage Pine Floorboards” be best achieved? Kind regards, Ben.

  27. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Ben,

    Often a clear product can be all you need to get the warm colour that is in that photo. Pine will often have natural orange or yellow tones to it that are highlighted when a clear Floor Oil is applied to it. The Holzol is available in sample size to allow you to do a test area first.

    If this does not give you the desired finish then you could have a look at the Manns Pine Wood Stain to give some colour and then a top coat of the clear floor oil for protection.

    If you have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  28. Nick Says:

    Hi. About five years ago we replaced the old, knackered pine flooring with new pine floorboards. We sealed with dulux diamond glaze but within a year the boards had become incredibly dirty from people walking on them and from normal cleaning (once a week mop). We have had pine before and never had this problem. We wondered if we used the wrong sealant or whether new pine boards are more absorbant? The dirt is seeped right into the wood we don’t think we will be able to sand it out.

  29. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Nick,

    I would expect the Varnish to last around 5 years or less on a general use domestic floor and it may have needed a maintenance coat at some point. Area that are high traffic like door way will wear away quicker than other areas and could result in stains and dirt marking the wood.

    You could try a product such as Bona Freshen Up which is a cleaner and refresher treatment in one.

    If you feel the floor is beyond this and are considering sanding back and starting again then I can recommend the Manns Extra Tough Floor Varnish as a great option or for easy maintenance you could look at a Floor Oil. It is a less durable product than varnish but still very strong and simply requires re oiling when you feel it needs it without having to sand back. And any damaged or mark areas can be patch repaired.

    If you have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Sam.

  30. Rich Says:

    Hi Sam,
    Just purchased p.a.r joinery grade pine pine boards to make my son a cabin bed, was thinking of finishing with osmo oil tints (darkish),followed by hard wax oil, my questions are, should I treat with a clear wood preservative first?
    Should I use a knotting solution? If so at what stage?
    Would it be better to acclimatise wood in doors before oiling

  31. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Richard,

    No need for a preservative for an indoor project. And in this case I would also avoid using a knotting solution. Internal Pine is unlikely to have any leeching and the knotting solution is not generally suitable for use under an oil.

    So for the best protection of your wood two thin coats of the Polyx Oil Tints from Osmo would be sufficient. Or if you find the colour from one coat is what you are looking for then you could do one coat of the tint and one of the Clear Polyx Oil Always try a test area first and if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind regards Sam.

  32. Anna Says:

    I have just had my pine floorboards sanded and a water based polyurethane applied. Was going for a natural light modern wood look, but the knots in the wood that didn’t show up before are now everywhere and a dark brown/ black colour and the floor looks awful. Any advice as to how I can lighten the knots and sort this out would be greatly appreciated??? Thanks

  33. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Anna,

    Are you able to send me some photos and I will happily take a look for you. You can send them to wood@finishes.direct

    Kind regards Sam.

  34. Dolat Corr Says:

    Hi Sam,

    I have gone to an enormous amount of trouble to hand sand my old (1850’s) 10″ wide pine floorboards and am anxious about what to protect them with. As it stands and in a dry state they are very pale and I am keen to keep them as pale and natural looking as possible, as if they haven’t been treated. I have always had wooden floors and normally treat them with a matt varnish but I don’t want the same pale orange look for these boards. I would love to hear what you recommend.
    Many thanks

  35. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:


    The first thing to try is wiping a damp cloth over the surface of the bare wood. This will show you how much a clear oil or varnish will darken the wood and if it will highlight any orange or yellow tones that may be in to wood. If you like the way this looks then you could have a look at Hard Wax Oil which is very durable and will leave the wood looking and feeling natural.

    If you find the test is too dark then you can look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural which has a minute amount of white pigment in it to counteract the darkening of a clear oil. Always try a test area first, if you have a read of the recommended products and feel free to let me know if you have any questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  36. Richard Says:

    Hi Sam, thanks for the advice regarding my indoor pine, much appreciated, excellent website!

  37. Dee Says:


    We live in a 93 year old craftsman bungalow. We removed the carpet from our hallway to find a vintage pine wood floor. We have cleaned it with Murphy’s oil soap. We do not plan to sand it, because we do not want to lose the patina that is there. We would like to seal it to protect the wood. What do you suggest that we use?


  38. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Dee,

    Ideally I would recommend a Hard Wax Oil as a good option, it soaks into the surface of the wood and gives great protection whilst leaving the wood looking and feeling very natural. But because it needs to soak in to the woods surface there may be some things that prevent this if you are not sanding back to bare wood and so a test area is strongly advised.

    Alternatively a Wax finish for the floor. We don’t often recommend wax as it is less durable then Oils or Varnishes, however it goes well over most surfaces and can add to the Patina that you already have.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do let me know. Always try a test area first.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  39. James Says:

    Bought a house that has the entire downstairs in pine flooring (not original floorboards unfortunately) and they’re going orange, so wanted your opinion on how best to stain them. I will hire a sander and sand off the varnish, but what stain product would you recommend? Would prefer a matt finish but not sure whether to go for a dark stain or a lighter. When staining I want to avoid streaks, patchiness and bleeds where I can. Any help appreciated!

  40. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello James,

    It would be worth you having a look at the Hard Wax Oil Tints these give colour and protection in just two thin coats. Test areas are strongly recommended, as the wood you are applying to will have an effect on the colour that will be achieved. This product is available in sample sizes to allow you to try them first.

    If you have a read up of the products and then let me know if you have any further question. Its also worth visiting our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA as there are lots of helpful hints and tips for application.

    All the Best Sam.

  41. phil townsend Says:

    I have just built a new spruce log cabin (one room) with an as yet unfinished floor. I was planning to use two coats of Osmo PolyX oil to protect it, but am thinking now to carpet the whole room both for a little extra warmth and because it is going to get youthful traffic – ie mucky shoes and dogs, and because I would like to get it habitable for Christmas!. Would you recommend carpeting without oiling, and then when I take up the carpet in 4-5 years (post youths!) I will oil the floo then?

  42. Sam Taylor-Casey Says:

    Hello Phil,

    If you are laying a carpet then there will be no need for any oil to be applied first. Putting Carpet over oil can prevent full and proper curing of the oil and make it ineffective. Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Sam.

  43. Sarah Says:

    Hi there

    I have iroko/teak parquet flooring in my 60s bungalow and have discovered an adjacent room has pine floorboards. I have sanded the floor but would like to match the colour to the parquet as closely as possible. It is a rich reddish colour. What would you recommend?

  44. Taylor Says:

    Hello Sarah,

    You could have a look at Floor Oil Tints from Holzol. They are a durable and hard wearing Oil that gives colour and protection in two thin coats.

    Alternatively if there is not a colour to suit your needs you could have a look at the Pine Floor Stain There is a wider range of colours available and you can mix to create new colours or keep adding additional coats to intensify the tone. And then add a Clear Floor Oil for the protection.

    If you check out our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/user/WoodFinishesDirect there are some very helpful videos on product advice and application hints and tips. And always try a test area first.

    All the Best Samantha.

  45. Tony Dix Says:

    We have a bare wood pine kitchen floor laid when the house was built in the 1960’s. We would like to refinish it it. The boards have shrunk slightly so there are narrow gaps in the t&g where dirt accumulates. Would you suggest any caulking ?. Thanks

  46. Sam Says:

    Hello Tony,

    The Bona Gap Master is great for gaps in floor boards, it is flexible too so will work well. It is suitable for gaps around 3mm to 7mm. It can be over coated if needed although it is best to match the finished colour rather than the wood if you are adding colour to the floor. Feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  47. James Says:


    We have used the OSMO Polyx Raw on our pine floorboards as had previously used a walnut varnish which brought them out very orange.
    The floor now has a whitewashed effect which does look ok. Certainly better than the orange we had before.
    I wondered if we were to now go over the OSMO Polyx Raw with another colour of the same product would we be able to avoid that orange coming through?

  48. Sam Says:

    Hello James,

    Can you tell me what colour you are thinking of applying and how many coats of the raw you applied and when. If recently the wood may be saturated with oil and not take any more. The orange will be coming from the natural tones of the wood and can be difficult to avoid but applying colours with a hint of green will help to reduce it, but if you are looking to stick with a white finish then this will not be relevant. You can email me direct on wood@finishes.direct if that is easier for you.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  49. James Says:

    Thank you for your reply Sam. The floor we have already done we are leaving with the whitewashed effect of the OSMO Polyx Raw. We are happy with the colour in that room.

    However, we are renovating our bathroom next which has the same pine floorboards. We would ideally like a darker colour in there (mid to dark brown), but really hate that orange that you get from the pine. We do have some OSMO Polyx Raw leftover so did wonder if applying that first before any subsequent coats of another OSMO tint would counter the pine turning orange.

    However if there are any other products you could recommend we could be tempted.

  50. Ben B Says:

    HI Sam,

    One quick question: Ive sanded our original wooden floorboards in our victorian terrace. In the kitchen we are going to be using Liberon Liming wax followed by Liberon Wax Polish Black Bison. Are these suitable for use in a kitchen?

    Many thanks,


  51. Sam Says:

    Hello Ben,

    I am not familiar with the Liberon waxes but generally speaking waxes are not what I would recommend for a floor, particularly a high traffic area like the kitchen. That’s not to say they are not suitable, I just would not recommend. Wax gives limited durability and needs regular top ups, it can also get a little slippery over time.

    For a more durable finish that still gives a natural look and feel to the wood you could consider the Hard Wax Oil from Fiddes. It will be much more hard wearing and is easy to repair and maintain over time. Its worth having a read up of the product and also taking a look at one of our You Tube videos >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzuvYbTjO-E&t=108s

    And if you have any further questions please do let me know.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  52. Brinsley Kazak Says:

    Hi Sam, great website, very happy to find some online advice. We’ve recently had our landing and bathrooms original pine floorboards from our 1900’s terraced house sanded, stained and varnished (with matt varnish). The results we got were quite shocking! The boards are looking very orange, shiny and too new.

    We were hoping for more of a mid brown, rustic, aged looking boards. Is there anyway back for us to salvage the boards and at least get rid of the orange look?

    we were tempted to just leave the boards and not treat them at all but so many people told us we couldn’t as they needed protection so we went with the lightest stain ‘antique pine’ and a matt varnish, i’m wondering if the products used by the floor company were not that good or we simply went for the wrong stain.

    we recently had our pine doors dipped in acid and finished with a mid-brown briwax and love the way they came out…

    any help or advice would be much appreciated! i have photos i can send if easier for you to answer after viewing…


  53. Sam Says:

    Hello Brinsley,

    I would always recommend applying a finish to your floor to protect the wood. To leave it untreated will make it difficult to clean. Dirt and grease and general every day use will discolour the wood. So a varnish or Hard Wax Oil would be ideal.

    As you have already varnished, this leaves you two options. The first is to try a coloured varnish over the top, this is not really the ideal situation, but generally one varnish will go over another without issue. And one of the colours from the Ronseal Diamond Hard range may improve the look for you. A test area should be done.

    The alternative would be to sand back to bare wood and this would open up options considerably. If you want to stick to a varnish finish then we have a wide range of stains from Manns Pine Wood Stain and you may need a colour that has a green tinge to it to counteract the orange tones of the pine. Test area would need to be carried out with a top coat of the clear Varnish to ensure that you are getting the colour that you want.

    Or you could have a look at some tinted Hard Wax Oils for colour and finish in one product.

    I hope that helps and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha

  54. Sylvia Kessedjian Says:

    Hello I have an Edwardian house with original floor boards that had a dark stain about a foot wide around the edge of the room obviously meant to have a rug covering the middle. I hired a builder and we sanded one rooom but the result was not perfect its very hard to lift all the brown stain. My question is is there a stain or dark varnis. that I could use over the whole floor I have period interiors so will also be covering the central section with a large rug. I have no idea what the dark stain is looked at old home managements and think it might be stain mixed with turpentine.

  55. Sam Says:

    Hello Sylvia,

    Thank you for getting in touch. It is a common issue with floors in Victorian houses, and can be difficult to remove and persistent sanding can be the only way to get rid of it. Many people will make it a feature however, with great results. You could take a look at the Holzol Floor Oil Tints these will colour and protect in one product. It will leave the floor looking and feeling very natural still and gives protection that is easy to clean, maintain and repair if needed.

    You could also have a look at a Stain for colour and then a Varnish for finish and protection. There are lots of helpful videos on our You Tube Channel that will help with products and application tips >>> https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-tgwbsUxm73aVnAjLGHRA

    And feel free to come back to me if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  56. Benjamin Hurt Says:

    Hi There, we had quite lovely dark pine floorboards when we moved into a rental property about a year ago. Unfortunately despite our best efforts to restrict our Bernese Mountain Dog on walking on them much, she has left a multitude of scratches over the general extent of the floor (kitchen, dining and living areas). Some are deeper than others. I’m wondering on the general success of sanding the boards back and re-varnishing, in removing the scratches? Any experience or advice you may have with this would be much appreciated. We are contemplating this for when we move out…

    Warm regards,

  57. Sam Says:

    Hello Ben,

    Sanding back will certainly improve the state of the wood, it may not get rid of any deep scratches how ever and so when retreating a filler may be required. There is a range of colours available with the Morrells to match the finish that you will be doing and if you have a read up of the product and let me know if you have any questions.

    All the Best Samantha.

  58. daffy2012 Says:


    I’ve had someone do my pine wood floors and he said that Danish Oil is the best. I think it looks fine although my mum and sister think it’s a little too dark. Is it possible to lighten it? Also, I find that when I walk on these oiled floors they seem to get ‘dirty’ or rather show up dirt more so than a varnished floor. This guy has suggested that it would be possible to put on some epoxy to make it like glass and less textured when dirt from shows wouldn’t stick to it and show up so much. Any advice? Thank you.

  59. Sam Says:


    Danish Oil is not something that we would necessarily recommend for floors. It simply isn’t durable enough to take the everyday wear and tear. It also doesn’t dry hard and this may be why you are getting dirt and marks on the surface.

    You could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil which will give a similar natural look and feel to the wood, but with much more durability. It will make the wood water repellent and easier to keep clean. It dries hard and is longer lasting than a Danish oil.

    You are able to apply the Hard Wax Oil over the Danish Oil as long as the wood is not saturated. If you wipe the surface with some White Spirit to clean and degrease. Carry out a test area to ensure the wood will take the oil and that you like the finish that will be achieved.

    If you are looking to achieve the high gloss look then I believe you will need to remove the oil and use an alternative product. If there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  60. daffy2012 Says:

    Thank you. I see that you can get Mat Satin or Semi Gloss. Not sure which to pick. Is it possible to put a little tint into this?

  61. Jamie Says:

    We are putting reclaimed pine boards throughout our upstairs (approx 1000 sq ft). They are reclaimed from an old barn that has been torn down. We love the rustic look that they will have but do not want the bright yellow or orange look to them. My question is two-fold: We plan to plane them to get off the initial ‘age’ look. then we are going to install them and was planning on putting a stain on them that we like. Here are my questions, if we use a varnish will it still cause them to yellow over time? Can we stain them and put the wood oil Osmo Polyx Oil you recommended?

    Thanks and looking forward to doing this project!

  62. Sam Says:

    Hello Jamie,

    Thank you for your enquiry. There area few products that you could consider. Pine will often yellow or orange naturally with any clear product, applying some colour will help to avoid this. However a full test area should be done with whatever product you choose to use.

    The Tinted Oils from Fiddes are a colour and protection in one and if there is a colour that you like may suit your needs, and are available in sample sizes.

    The other alternative would be to use a water based stain to colour and then the clear oil or clear varnish to protect.

    Test areas are key however to ensure that you get the finish you want.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  63. Simon Says:

    We have an old pine floor in the kitchen which has been sanded and varnished twice, last time with something that was termed “diamond hard”. Four years later 1/3 of the kitchen floor is very worn, with little trace of the varnish. Rather than do it a third time, I’d rather use a natural wood polish or oil this time. Do I have to have the whole floor sanded again, which natural oil would you recommend, how would it be maintained, can it be given a wash with a wet mop ? If not how does one clean it ? (Its a busy kitchen with 5 children, 2 adults, 1 cat, and soon to be one dog). Any advice gratefully received!

  64. Sam Says:

    Hello Simon,

    Thank you for your enquiry. I think it would be fair to say that a varnish will be a more durable finish an oil. In terms of maintenance however you may find that an Oiled floor is easier. Re applying varnish coats can result in uneven finishes or join lines and if the varnish is peeling and flaking then you may need to consider sanding back to re treat. With a Hard Wax Oil you can simply clean the floor and then re apply the oil when you feel it needs it. And with a large family and high traffic this could be annually, but thin application is all that is required.

    So its down to which will suit your needs better the longer lasting durable varnish or the easier to maintain, natural looking oil finish. For Oiled finishes a PH neutral cleaner is best and not a wet mop. So the Bona Spray Mop is a good option as it is suitable for both Varnished and Oiled floors.

    Feel free to get in touch if you have any further questions and always try a test area first.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  65. John Barnett Says:

    Last autumn I undertook to sand down all my pine furniture, including dining room table and several sideboards. The table and units were 30 plus years old. The results from my efforts were excellent. I re varnished them all with Ronseal clear interior varnish. However as pine becomes yellow with age and eventually the dreaded orange, I wish to avoid this. Can I recoat the units using a Fiddes or Osmo wax to arrest further yellowing? Last week I was given a 40 year old TV/hifi unit in pine that was destined for the tip. After many hours of sanding it is restored. I now wish to seal this but prevent yellowing. Recommendations, please?

  66. Sam Says:

    Hello John,

    It is often the case with Pine that the natural tones of yellow and orange are pulled out through the clear treatment applied. To use the Fiddes or Osmo will require the removal of the varnish that is currently on the wood and the oil could possibly also bring out the orange tones that are in the pine. Test area should be done to see how it look and both oils are available in sample sizes.

    Sometimes applying a slight tint can help and the Fiddes Tinted Oils are a good option. If you have a look at the products and feel free to get back to me if you have any questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  67. Dawn Says:


    I wonder if you could give some advise on treating new pine floorboards that will be partly covered by a rug. I am looking for a bleached out finish to ensure that no yellow comes through and a low maintenance option and a finish that is easy to clean , this is for a bedroom. Any help would be much appreciated

  68. Sam Says:

    Hello Dawn,

    Thank you for your enquiry. You could have a look at the Fiddes Hard Wax Oil Natural this is designed to leave the floor looking and feeling as natural as possible. A test area should be done however to ensure this is what you are looking for and is suitable for your floor.

    If you think that this will not be pale enough then the Polyx Oil Tints in white is also an option. These oils require very thin application to the floor. And test areas are important.

    I hope that helps and if you have any further questions I am happy to help.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  69. Colin Says:

    great website!

    i have a few areas where the pine floor boards in my 1930’s house are worn/cracked. I was going to replace them with new pine floor boards and then stain with a dark oak stain and then possibly satin varnish or a ployeurethane on top of that.

    Do you foresee any problems in doing this? I would obviously do some sample tests before progressing.


  70. Sam Says:

    Hello Colin,

    It is a common project, floor boards often need replacing and it follows that they will then need colour matching with existing boards. It is not always easy to colour match and I would recommend the Manns Classic Pine Stain as this is a very versatile product, it can be intermixed to make alternate colours or it can be lightened by adding water until you get the desired colour.

    Its worth bearing in mind that the top coat of varnish will darken the tone slightly. Test area will be the key to getting the finish that you want.

    If there is anything further that I can help with please do let me know.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  71. Karen Merchant Says:

    Hi Sam – We are putting in a new wide-plank eastern white pine floor in our 1890 farmhouse. I want the floor to look old and like it was original to the house. I am struggling with how we should finish it. We want to develop that amber patina and am hoping we don’t have to apply 6-7 coats like some of the articles I’ve read suggest. Let me know if you have any suggestions! Thanks in advance –

  72. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Karen,

    I can recommend looking at the Water Based Stain which has a wide range of colours available. These colours can be used to create that aged effect if you are a bit clever with it. A mixture of colours applied to the wood to give a patina type colouring, its such a versatile product. You can add water to lighten the tone, you can intermix to create new colours and you are able to apply a number of layers to intensify colour and scrub back with water and a Finishing Pad

    So you can play around with these colours to get the colour you desire and then seal with a Hard Wax Oil or Varnish to protect the timber and the stain.

    If you take a look at these products and feel free to let me know if you have any further questions or you can email me at wood@finishes.direct.

    Many Thanks Samantha.

  73. John Says:

    Hi. Can u please tell me how many times a pine floor can be sanded? Thank you!

  74. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello John,

    Its difficult to give a definitive answer on that one, it can depend on a number of factors that include age, type and condition. What is the purpose of the wood and how many times it has been done previously. Also with previous sanding, what grit and what was removed? Feel free to email me with more information about the wood on wood@finishes.direct

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  75. Erin Says:


    We have just moved into a 1930’s house with original red pine floor boards. They have not been previously treated so is it necessary to do all the sanding or can I given them a Hoover, mop and then stain/oil? Many thanks?

  76. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Erin,

    Its difficult to say as it depend on how long they have been untreated and the condition over all of the wood. I would be happy to take a look at some photos, you can send them to wood@finishes.direct.

    For the best result it would probably be advisable to give at least one sand with a 120 grit in the direction of the grain, to prepare the wood for which ever treatment you are looking to apply, particularly oils.

    If you need any advice on which products to finish your floor with please feel free to email me.

    All the Best Samantha.

  77. Sylvia Lobb Says:


    I have recently sanded the pine boards that I found under the old hall carpet, I intended to apply a Ronseal interior varnish but some of the boards seem very dry. Should I treat them with something before varnishing?


  78. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Sylvia,

    Thank you for your enquiry. The condition of the boards will have an impact on the over all finish of the floor. Its worth giving the wood a good clean and wipe down with White Spirits. This will remove any residual grease and dirt. Then a test area can be carried out to ensure that the varnish will give you the colour that you want. Good Preparation will lead to a good finish and for further tips you can visit our You Tube Channel >>> https://www.youtube.com/user/WoodFinishesDirect/videos?view_as=subscriber

    I hope that helps and if do let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  79. Maureen Walker Says:

    Busy laying a brand new pine floor in a Guide Hall. What kind of varnish do I use.Its a high traffic area and needs to be incredibly hard wearing.

  80. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Maureen,

    For high traffic areas such as yours we recommend the Manns Pro Floor Varnish this is a very durable two part floor varnish that is ideal for high traffic commercial and domestic areas.

    As you are applying to fresh new wood I would recommend a coat of the Manns Intense Primer first. If you have a read up of the products and let me know if you have any further questions.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  81. Jen F Says:

    Hi Sam, I have pine flooring in my 1950s ranch. It has some wear, scratches, and dull areas. Could you recommend a product to temporarily seal and brighten up the floor without having to do a complete sanding of the floor. We are planning a complete re- do in the spring. The floors were previously varnished. Thanks

  82. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Jen,

    Thank you for your enquiry. For freshening up a varnished floor that is a little on the dull side you could have a look at the Bona Freshen Up it a waterborne maintenance coating for varnished floors.

    If you have a look at the products and feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  83. Sara Says:


    I am in desperate need of advice!

    My very old pine floors are being sanded down today and the men doing my floor are trying to convince me I need a dye put on before the oil.

    I am not sure I want any dye on my lovely floors – do you think it’s necessary? Their reasons are because the pine is so light and they think it needs evening out.

    Thank you!

  84. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Good Afternoon Sarah,

    My apologies for the delay in getting back to you. Applying a dye or stain is purely to add colour to the wood and is not a necessity. When a clear oil is applied to wood, it will highlight the natural tones of the wood and can make any variations more noticeable and so test areas are recommended to ensure that you will like the finish before it is applied all over. It is also possible that a clear oil will make the Pine look very orange.

    I hope that helps and feel free to get back to me if you have any further questions on wood@finishes.direct

    All the Best Samantha.

  85. Stewart Says:

    I live in a 1920’s house which has softwood pine floors. The flooring has this old black varnish/stain around the edges about 2 feet wide.
    What is this black finish?
    What is the best thing to remove as it clogs up sanding disc and is really messy.

  86. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Stewart,

    This was a common practise in the early part of the twentieth century. It is a tar like paint that was used to edge rooms with in the house where a rug did not reach to. It is notoriously difficult to remove and may strippers will not work, and as you have discovered sanding is hard work.

    You could try a Peelaway too see if it will have an effect on the paint. The sample pack is advised to avoid wasting money on a larger tub that may not work. The Peelaway 1 is the one which is more likely to work, but it is worth trying both.

    Failing that perseverance with the sanding is likely to be you only other option. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  87. harry robison Says:


    Having stained a redwood pine kitchen floor we then used a wax furniture polish on it to seal it. This is far too slippy for a kitchen floor and is therefore quite dangerous. Can you help us to determine what we need to do next; thanks in anticipation,

  88. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Harry,

    Although Polishes and some Waxes are suitable for floors, it is not something that we tend to recommend, for exactly the reason that you have highlighted. And the more you walk around in socks or soft slippers, the more you will be buffing the polish.

    My advice would be to remove the polish with some White Spirit and use a more durable and hard wearing product that will not get slippery.Fiddes Hard Wax Oil is a far more durable finish that will not require topping up as often as a polish. It will be more scratch resistant and will repel liquids. And will not get slippery.

    It is available in sample sizes should you wish to try a test area first and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  89. Beth Curmi Says:

    Hi, we have just bought a Victorian terraced house that has a stripped pine floor throughout, including in the bathroom. It looks really nice but is a wooden floor in the bathroom a bad idea? We’re a little worried that if it gets repeatedly wet (which it will with two small children), it will become damp and mouldy and also harbour odour around the toilet. Is there a good sealant that would prevent these problems or is tiling just a safer bet. Many thanks

  90. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Beth,

    Thank you for your enquiry. It would be fair to say that Bathroom floors are more susceptible to water ingress and stains from little accidents and so we do recommend the extra protection of Osmo Wood Protector applied first will enhance the protection to the wood and help to keep it nourished and moisture repellent in a changing humidity and temperature.

    It is of course advised to avoid long term standing water as it will eventually stain however with two thin coats of Osmo Polyx Oil will give great protection against this and should you get any marks or stains they are very easy to patch repair. taking the usual precautions with bathroom mats and ventilation will also help avoid problems from occurring.

    For cleaning I can recommend the Wash and Care from Osmo. I hope that helps and if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Kind regards Samantha.

  91. Jon Roche Says:

    Thanks for all the advice on here.

    I am looking for a floor finish which I fear does not exist. I have sanded my oak floorboards back to a raw state and want to keep them like that but be able to clean them easily. Therefore the finishing product has to be very Matt and not change the colour at all.

    I tried Osmo raw but that still darkened the nice light colour of the boards and introduced a slight red hue to the finish. The white pigment was also slightly uneven giving a patchy appearance. I haven’t tried Fiddes but as it is marketed as a satin finish it is not likely to be what I am looking for.

    I have looked into nano sealants but the manufacturers tend to market this for water protection rather than household dirt.

    Is there any new products on the market that just leaves the wood in its raw state?

    Thanks very much

  92. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Jon,

    The Osmo Polyx Oil Raw and the Fiddes Hard wax Oil Natural are the two that I would have recommended. These are the best products for leaving the wood as natural as possible.

    The only other option is a Floor Polish which will barely change the tone of the wood, it will offer far less durability to the surface however and can get slippery under foot.

    I am sorry that I can not make any alternate suggestion, and if you do need any further advice please feel free to call in and talk to one of our friendly advisers.

    Kind Regards Samantha.

  93. Stella Says:

    Hi Great website!
    Wondering if you can advise. We have a pine floor in a room that is going to be our kitchen – untreated pine floorboards from the 1980s – which have had rugs on. There is no finish on the floor at all. The sun has made the areas not covered by rugs orange and the areas under the rugs are much lighter. We really don’t want to sand the boards to avoid the mess and dust. Is there a product which will remove the orange tone from the floorboards and even up the colour all over? Then we’d like to achieve a scandinavian white wash finish but one that is hard wearing. We’ve been recommended to use a watered down white chalk paint and then finish with Polyvine Floor varnish. Is there a better way to achieve this ?
    Thank you

  94. Samantha Taylor Says:

    Hello Stella,

    Orange is a common issue with Pine and many people love it a whilst others hate it ! It is the natural tones of the wood coming through and often when clear products are applied this can highlight the orange even more. The colour variation in your wood are due to the exposure to UV in different quantities will be difficult to even out in any way other than sanding or applying a dark colour to the wood.

    As you want to achieve a white finish on your floor then sanding will be a recommended requirement and white finishes on pine floors, or in fact any wooden floors, to help give a even finish. We also have a very helpful Blog about white finishes and I would strongly recommend having a read of that, it has some good recommendations and also highlights some of the issues that can arise from white floors.

    For example a white paint applied first followed by a clear varnish, for protection, will result in a yellow/cream colour finish. The Clear product impacts on how the light reflects on the white and you loose the purity.

    There are many white oils in the The Osmo range that will give varying degrees of white, however when applied to pine can still show through some of the orange.

    My advice will be to try a few test area with some samples first and see how the finish looks for you and if it will give the effect that you want.

    I am happy to help guide you through the process and if you would like to email me at wood@finishes.direct

    All the Best Samantha.

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